The Apartment Rent Ordinance (ARO) controls rent increases on apartments that are covered by the ordinance, or apartments with three or more units that were built and occupied before September 7, 1979. Rental housing developments exempt from the ordinance include single family homes, in-law/granny flats/accessory dwelling units, duplexes, hotels, townhomes, hotels, and boarding houses. To determine if a property is rent controlled, you can view a map of rent-controlled properties.
The Tenant Protection Ordinance was adopted by City Council on May 9, 2017, and outlines landlord responsibilities and tenant rights regarding notices to terminate. Under the Tenant Protection Ordinance, landlords of multifamily dwellings, guesthouses, and unpermitted units will only be authorized to terminate a tenancy under the listed causes. You can review the listed causes.
On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, the City Council took action and updated both the Apartment Rent Ordinance and the Tenant Protection Ordinance. Below are changes approved by City Council:
– Include dependent child; foster child; minor in the tenant’s care; spouse or domestic partner; or parent of a tenant under exempted categories of additional family members allowed under TPO’s Just Cause reason for material or habitual rental agreement violation; and
– Reduce the maximum occupancy limit for adults to the number allowed by the rental agreement or two adults per bedroom, whichever is greater.
– Retain the limit on annual general increases as 5% with no banking;
– Implement a capital improvement passthrough petition process for specified capital improvements;
– Defer action on Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS) to March 2018 with additional research from staff;
– Continue to exclude duplexes from the ARO;
– Allow tenant buyout agreements; and
– Maintain the rent registry as recommended by staff.
– Approve Phase I and Phase II of the proposed staffing plan for the Rental Rights and Referrals Program with a fee increase effective on January 1, 2018.
I was in support of staff’s recommendations for both the draft Apartment Rent Ordinance, and also the Tenant Protection Ordinance, and particularly was in support of maintaining the 5% cap on rent increases. City Council has been discussing the appropriate cap on rent increases since 2015, and the 5% cap represented a culmination of many hours of deliberation and discussion, and also represented a middle ground between the positions of tenants and property owners. Additionally, I felt it was important to maintain a fixed cap on rent increases because keeping a fixed annual rate makes administration much easier, and provides more predictability for both tenants and property owners. To read more about my perspective on the Apartment Rent Ordinance, please see my memo.
If you have further questions, please contact the Housing Department at 408-975-4480 or the District 1 office at [email protected] or 408-535-4901.